Tuesday, March 08, 2022

GLIMMERING AT THE EDGES

Lunch was exceptionally good. Roast duck and charsiu pork over rice, a srong cup of milk tea, at a place where the owner is hardworking and likable and the waitress on duty yesterday was kind, considerate, and attentive. Despite being Toishanese, everyone who works there is fluent in HK Cantonese. They are very pleasant people.

Unfortunately, some of their customers aren't. There was a bad-tempered woman yelling on her phone in one corner, and a group at a main table engaged in animated conversation dominated by a fellow I recognize and, when I consider him at all, dislike.

He's what can best be described as Toishanese thug-buck. Loud, loutish, often punctuating his speech with 'magahai' and 'lou mou' precisely like English speakers use the 'F' word.
He has a considerable lack of charm.

Kind of like the engineers at FungWing Bunco, who bitterly resented the fact that I was white and had a relationship with a person of the other gender. Chinatown boys, still mostly able to speak Cantonese, but Americans of the geekoid variety. Not able to translate career flourishes into normal life. Often such people have mothers who think the sun shines out of sunny-boy's rear and blame society (and white people) for his lack of success, and inability to form normal relationships with women who adore and worship him as he deserves.

Toishanese thug-buck is not able to speak much English; so the resemblance is not linguistic. Someone like me (white, AND able to speak English) has only a limited use in his eyes, and he distrusts me because I am flexibly communicative but he cannot grasp me.
Fortunately his welcome at several places has worn rather thin.
People like him would become red guards decades ago.
They resent their present boundaries.


He didn't stay very long. Neither did the crabby auntie with the cell phone (and the dour looking husband thing). After they left the place was quieter and sunnier, and the people at the main table engaged in what seemed like thoughtful conversation.
I don't go there very often (the menu has certain limitations) but I really hope that they survive these times and thrive.


The weather is warmer than a week ago. Waverly Place afterwards was extremely enjoyable.
Some of the residents there recognize me (remarkable, because all of us Caucasians look alike), and will nod when they see me, and little children sometimes look at the pipe I'm smoking with curiosity as they pass with their mothers. I'm fairly certain I have never heard anyone cussing (炒蝦拆蟹,講粗口), although I have heard opera there on certain days.
No one has ever accused me of ruining the world with my presence there.
Or poisoning their precious lungs by smoking my pipe in public.
The red guards and thug-bucks are elsewhere.
No suburban Karens either.



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